Weather Stones – Science Explorations for Toddlers

I don’t know about where you are but here in Scotland during spring the weather is always changing. One minute it can be beautiful sunshine and the next it could be raining, or snowing! It makes preparing for the day a bit of a challenge, but it does provide a wonderful opportunity for looking at the weather. How the weather works might be a bit too abstract for toddlers but what the weather does, well, we all experience that very concretely. Speaking about the weather, using lots of descriptive words, taking note of the changes and what we might need to wear when going out are all great things to do with toddlers, exposing them to lots of different vocabulary and introducing them to the concept of weather. To assist with our thinking about the weather and make it a bit more hands on, I made these weather stones for Little Bean so that she can observe and record (sort off) what the weather is doing at any given moment.

I went to a local beach and got a few stones. I was looking particularly for roundish stones with a flat, even coloured surface. I picked out five and gathered my other bits then got to painting.

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I used oil colours because I wanted something thick that would be vibrant against the stone. Acrylic would probably work fine too.

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I chose the five types of weather Little Bean is most familiar with, sun, rain, cloudy, wind and snow. She is more familiar with some (cough, rain) than others but the key thing is she knows the vocabulary and she knows what to look for. This isn’t an exercise in learning new words or new kinds of weather, the best way to learn that (at this age) is to be out in the weather, experiencing it, and talking with Mummy or daddy, or whoever. These stones are a tool to encourage observation of the weather and what it does and a springboard for further discussion.

After the stones had dried I used a black Sharpie ultra-fine point pen (UK link/US link) to add detail or outline.

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I placed mine in a bowl near the window so Little Bean could easily look out the window and use the stones whenever she liked. I also added a piece of black felt to provide somewhere to place the stones, I think the black really helps the stones pop.

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These are being used frequently. Little Bean now gets really excited when she notices a change in the weather, because that means she can go change the stones. For me, that usually means I have to bring the washing in….

Peace, Nat

P.S. This post is linking up withΒ Montessori Monday!

( Disclosure: Some of the links in this post may be affiliate links. Please see my about page for more information.)

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